A lot of businesses are concerned with being on the front page in Google. Traffic from search engines can be a significant source of leads to your website.
However, a lot of misinformation and confusion exists around the practice of search engine optimization. At HY-Viz Marketing, we often talk with clients who have a goal of being ranked very well in Google but are not familiar with exactly what it takes to get there and often wonder what the costs associated with being ranked on the 1st page entail.
Many business owners often have preconceived ideas about what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) means. Sometimes they think that scattering a few keywords across their website will do the job. Other times they understand (correctly) that SEO can be a long term campaign to build their brand and the process can involve external factors as well as on-site factors.
However when we dig deeper and get to the root of the question, what most businesses really want is to simply get qualified website traffic.
There are two ways to bring traffic to your website from Google. One method is to optimize your website for organic search. The other is to use AdWords.
Organic SEO refers to the listings in the main area of Google’s search results. These listings show up in the center of your screen and are displayed based on Google’s natural algorithm. These listings cannot be paid for but can be targeted through content and external factors. SEO more often than not takes longer than Adwords to get results but can assist you in getting high rank in Google for an amount of key search terms. There’s no charge per click linked with the organic search results on the other hand typically a small ongoing expenditure is necessary to sustain your search engine rankings.
AdWords is Google’s advertising program. AdWords listings show up at the top and on the side of Google search results and will typically appear in yellow at the top and in small boxes on the right-hand side. These are listings that can be paid for directly through Google’s advertising program.
So which method is better for your organization?
It depends on a number of factors. One factor to consider is the actual product or service that you sell. Organic SEO is typically a long term campaign which can lead to a significant payoff and excellent ROI. Organic SEO will typically require a minimum 6 month commitment and often requires careful planning, analysis, and research.
Either way it’s a significant investment. If the product or service sold has a high-dollar individual sale price, organic SEO might be worth it. Additionally, organic SEO takes time to bear fruit. It’s not uncommon for an organic campaign to start delivering results only after six months (or more) of hard work. An organic campaign is a marathon, not a sprint.
The AdWords program, on the other hand, has some distinct differences. An AdWords campaign can be up and running in 24 hours. For this reason, AdWords can be an excellent program for companies with lower-ticket sales. It allows advertisers to quickly tweak, experiment with, and optimize campaigns on-the-fly.
Either way it’s important to make sure that someone is managing your search engine marketing program very carefully. If your company has someone in-house with the time and the expertise, that person can often be a great fit for managing your organic SEO campaigns or your AdWords campaigns. If not, it can make a lot of sense to outsource this task to a marketing agency (like HYViz).
Proper management and monitoring of your search engine marketing campaigns ensures that money is not wasted and that your campaigns are producing optimal results.